My Digital Romance: 5 Apps For Couples Only

If social networking was a camera, the last few years it’s been stuck on 12x zoom.  We’ve watched as Millennials (and the users who follow their lead) have flocked to networks built for smaller and smaller networks, not abandoning their Facebook or Twitters, but adding more private networks like Snapchat and Kik to their profile collection in order to have more intimate conversations with friends and families. Now networks are zooming in even closer, with a wave of apps designed for just two people: apps for couples. It makes sense that as communication has switched almost entirely to digital formats, consumers would begin to look for tools to customize that communication according to the relationship of those conversing. And while some might mourn that apps for couples signal an increasingly de-personalized state of interaction between young people, the fact is that the majority of communication between Millennial couples is already likely to take place in the digital world: gchatting or texting while they’re at work all day, Skyping if they live far apart, or sending flirty Snapchats when they miss each other. Apps for couples—while not quite widely used as of yet—could be a natural addition to Millennials’ roster of networks, and can just as easily be used between besties as daters. Here are five apps for couples only to watch:

1. Avocado
As a social networking app for two, Avocado (so named because the fruit grows in pairs) has everything that partners (romantic or not) need to stay in touch from far apart. Private messaging, video sharing, location sharing, a shared calendar and even sketching so you can doodle some romantic notes by hand if you want to. Shared lists, which can be edited by both users, make everything from groceries to bucket lists a collaborative effort. But…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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